MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
November 16, 2009
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair Elect Dean P. Neikirk (electrical and computer engineering) reported that the following individuals spoke at the recent meeting of UT System Faculty Advisory Committee (SysFac), which was held October 1-2: Mr. James Huffines, chairman of the UT Board of Regents; Mr. Dan Branch, past chairman of the Texas House of Representatives’ Higher Education Committee; Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, UT chancellor; and Mr. Barry McBee, UT vice chancellor for governmental relations. Chairman Huffines emphasized the importance of Proposition 4, the expansion of top-level research institutions, which was approved by Texas voters on November 2. The 2011 legislative session was discussed by the speakers, with concerns being expressed about the following issues: the projected funding shortfall that could reach $15 billion, the reality that stimulus money will likely be nonexistent, and the fact that it will be a redistricting session. Chair Elect Neikirk reported that SysFac is monitoring the activities of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, especially with regard to cost containment measures being considered. Although the efforts during the last legislative session by SysFac to gain approval for a faculty representative on the Board of Regents were unsuccessful, Chair Elect Neikirk said it did not appear that this goal would be pursued in the future. He thought there would be an effort to convince board members that an on-call faculty advisor could be more productive than a faculty regent in answering any questions that might arise about faculty issues.
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